Tanzania. According to Countryaah, there were concerns and violence with religious signs throughout the year, both on the mainland and on the island of Zanzibar. The island is dominated by Muslims, and in February a Catholic priest was shot dead and a church burned.
A series of acid attacks were also carried out on Zanzibar which were believed to have religious motives. Among other things, a few easily dressed British women, as well as a Catholic priest, were affected. Police arrested 15 suspects who were said to have ties to al-Shabaab, the Somali extremist Islamist movement.
In Dar es-Salaam, some 50 protesters were arrested at the beginning of the year demanding the release of the disputed leader of the Islamic Community movement, Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda. Some of the arrested were later sentenced to prison. Ponda was arrested after being arrested in connection with violence against Christian churches in Dar es-Salaam the year before.
Ponda was tried and in May he was sentenced to one year in prison for the attacks on the churches. However, the verdict was conditional and applied to a milder charge point than expected. All 50 defendants were acquitted on the more serious charges. Later in the year, police tried to arrest Ponda, who escaped with the help of his followers, but was shot dead.
In the city of Arusha in the northeast, a bomb attack was carried out against a crowded church in May, when at least three people were killed and more than 50 injured. The country’s president described the attack as a terrorist act. The explosion exploded when the newly built Catholic Church was to be inaugurated, and among the participants in the Mass were the Vatican’s envoy and the Archbishop of Arusha. Both escaped unharmed.
Several people were arrested as suspects after the act, but some arrested from Arab countries were released and declared tourists. A 20-year-old taxi driver was later arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay condemned a series of brutal attacks on albinos in Tanzania. The government was invited to put an end to the killing and discrimination. According to the UN, four attacks against albinos had been documented in just over two weeks at the beginning of the year. a young boy had been killed. Although more than 70 people are reported to have been killed in similar ways since 2000, only five people have been convicted of the crimes.
In the town of Mtwara in southern Tanzania, there were repeated demonstrations against the government’s plans to build 50 miles of gas pipeline from Mtwara to a new gas power plant in Dar es-Salaam. The local population wants the gas power plant to be built in Mtwara and electricity is distributed from there to the rest of the country. In May, the protests degenerated into violent riots, and as security forces searched for those behind the riots, a pregnant woman was shot dead.
Tanzania gained great interest during the year. In March, China’s newly appointed President Xi Jinping visited during his tour of Africa. He noted that trade between China and Africa had exceeded $ 200 billion in the past year. Xi and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete signed 16 different trade agreements. regarding the improvement of Tanzania’s hospitals and ports.
In July, US President Barack Obama also brought his family to Tanzania, as the last stop on an African trip. When Obama laid a wreath on the victims of the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Dar es-Salaam, former President George W. Bush also participated in the ceremony.
There was outrage among the media when the authorities banned two government-critical Swahili-language newspapers for 14 and 90 days, respectively. They had published criticism of the president and advocated revolution. According to the Tanzania Media Council, it was an attack on freedom of speech. The year before, Tanzania had fallen from place 34 to place 70 on an international index of press freedom after two journalists were killed and state-owned media accused of being biased to the ruling party.